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Gratuitous Tank Battles: WWI. Now with Mechs!

Company: Positech Games

It seems that Gratuitous Tank Battles is the latest of Positech's Gratuitous series - a sequel, of sorts to Gratuitous Space Battles. This new game shares quite a bit with its predecessor, such as over-the-top particle effects, the ability to customize units and, perhaps, an engine. However, this time the battle is a lot closer-to-home, taking place right here on Earth, albeit in a version of Earth where World War I never ended. Taking command of the English forces, you'll be going up against the Germans, but thanks to advances in technology in this two-hundred-plus year war, you'll have not only tanks and infantry, but mechs to help you defeat the enemy... and, with any luck, make it back home in time for tea.

One major difference between Gratuitous Space Battles and Gratuitous Tank Battles is you actually participate during the gameplay, once the game starts this time around. In Space Battles, you designed a fleet and defined the behavior for the units, but once you started the game, there was nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the show. It was your battle plan against your opponent's battle plan, may the best plan win. Some tweakers love this much creative control and enjoy watching their plans unfold, but other gamers may want to, well, play the game while it's going on.

Gratuitous Tank Battles is still a tweaker's playground, but the gameplay takes the form of a Tower Defense-style game, allowing you to play as the attacker or the defender. As with Gratuitous Space Battles, the only multiplayer play is achieved by recording your setup and sharing it as a challenge for others to play against. However, with the new added element of actions occurring over time, rather than everything being set up at the beginning, Gratuitous Tank Battles is more interactive and, hence, immersive, making it approachable by more mainstream gamers.

In what I played of Gratuitous Tank Battles so far, I found the difficulty to be more challenging than I remember from Gratuitous Space Battles. This was most evident in the scripted battles, which were only available when playing defense. Tweakers and fans of Gratuitous Space Battles should definitely check out Gratuitous Tank Battles. It's still in beta, but it's quite playable, already.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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